Man dreaming of burglars shot himself for real

Originally published at: Man dreaming of burglars shot himself for real | Boing Boing


Imagine what’s it like to live in such fear that you sleep with an unsecured, loaded handgun next to you every night. As much as I want to have sympathy for this guy, all I can think of is…


Thank goodness he sleeps alone.


I mean, for some situations, it’s a little less fear and a little more practicality. My mom lived in a large house , mostly alone, in a county that is remote and doesn’t have police officers at night. She had a weapon in her nightstand for that reason, especially since that part of the country was a very popular place to cook and traffic meth because it was so remote. Home breakins were and are still common there.

She didn’t dream of or want to shoot anyone , though. It was just a part of life in the very remote part of the US she lived in.


And for all that, she was no safer with the gun. In fact she was statistically more likely to be shot with that gun herself. Guns do not make you safer no matter where you live.


I hang out on some RV forums, occasionally the subject comes up about traveling with guns for protection.

Recently someone asked if you carry a gun.

I responded no because I’m not prepared to kill anyone and I refuse to live in the kind of fear that would put me in a constant kill or be killed mentality.

The gun owners showed how paranoid they are because that simple comment meant I wanted to take their guns and if my wife were raped and murdered I would want the attacker set free.

The only thing they got right was I was accused of putting life over property and personal possessions.

Um yeah, I’m not killing for my lawn chairs or bikes outside of my RV.


I take a gun with me when I go camping but mostly because of bears.

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This happens infrequently, but with regularity. Far more often, of course, people shoot family members after having dreams about burglars, but they also sometimes manage to shoot themselves. (Though I wonder if it happens more frequently than is reported, but either the victims are too embarrassed to admit it, or kill themselves and it gets mistaken for a suicide.) Rare as it is, it’s probably still more common than gun owners successfully defending themselves from actual invading nighttime assassins.


That’s fair, but like my Mom, you’re not safer for doing that. You’re more likely to shoot yourself than a bear. And depending on the size of bear, that might just make the bear mad.

@VeronicaConnor is right. Having a gun, statistically, doesn’t make you safer in any situation.


But all gun owners are above average.


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As much as I’m anti-gun, I don’t think this guy can be properly convicted of reckless discharge of a firearm. Reckless conduct in a criminal context by definition requires an intentional act with a state of mind that shows an awareness that one’s conduct can lead to harm. It’s not enough to say he intended to store an unsecured, loaded gun by his bed.

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Same. Real talk here, if you can be convicted of reckless discharge of a firearm without actually being aware of it, every single person with a gun in their house is committing at least negligence by having a gun in their house and going to sleep in general.

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There’s an interesting divide when it comes to civil law, where there, mere negligence is enough for liability to attach in certain contexts. But in general, I think it’s impossible to be convicted of a crime for something one does while asleep. The required mens rea/mental state is missing due to being unconscious and the act therefore not being voluntary. Of course, you have to prove that you were asleep beyond a reasonable doubt if that’s your defense.

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If you keep your gun unlocked and loaded in a place where you can discharge it while still asleep (under a pillow, on a nightstand etc.) then that seems like a pretty reckless way to treat a firearm.


I give him this: At least he didn’t make up some story about how he got shot, like this loser awhile back.


Perhaps because he prefers to sleep with a gun under his pillow? So attractive! :grin:

Agreed. And if it were a civil lawsuit, you could argue he could be held liable for such reckless storage of the firearm.

But for a criminal charge to stick, in addition to the guilty state of mind that’s required, you also need a guilty act, and here that act is the discharge of the firearm, not the negligent storage of the gun prior to falling asleep. Ultimately you’re missing both mens rea and actus rea to be criminally liable.

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